Thursday, August 26, 2010


So, it’s come down

To this;

A lukewarm bottle of port
And an old porno magazine (c. 1973),

One book of
Lonesome cowboy poetry,
A print of a painting
Of a saint in a cave
And a kung-fu movie
On TV,

A broken chair,
A bare mattress,

A dirty bulb
Swingin’ on the end
Of a string

In a strangely warm
Little tributary
Of February wind

That’s suddenly streamin’ in
Through a torn
Window screen;

Just this tentative little stream,
Like a tendril or feeler reeled out
By a thunderstorm that’s just now
Windin’ itself up
Into a mean and evil frenzy
Somewhere across town.

Truly, it is a night for long-gone lonesome
Troubadours and dream-tortured warriors
That will never live to fight another day,
And wayward painters, who’ve watched,
Helplessly, too-little-too-late,
As all hope literally sailed away.

Truly, it is a night to ask,
“how the hell did all this come to pass?”
or “how else could I have believed?”
or, perhaps, even (for comic
relief, at least),

“why me!?”

Nights like this,
The very fabric of reality
Is saturated and crackling
With ozone and static electricity
And a great oily spill of bad ju ju.

Nights like this,
The night grumbles back
To foolish questions,

“why not you?”

So, I suppose
There’s really nothin’
Left to do

But throw open all the windows
And doors and turn off all the lights
(at that goddamned TV)
and turn on Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,”
or maybe even Stravinsky’s
“Rites of Spring.”

Nothin’ left to do

But settle back with a bottle of port
(no shit, found under a loose floor-board,
and, says right here,
“thirty years old”),

nothin’ left to do
but settle back and just sorta

watch things unfold.

Yeah… nights like this,
Hank,Sr., Bruce Lee
And even that crazy son-of-a-bitch
Caravaggio look down
From the ringside seats of Heaven

Upon all beautiful
And foolish souls in exile

And smile.

-Jason Ryberg, 2003

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